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After indulging yourself with rich curries and fresh cheeses during a tour of India, you might want to save some room for mithai, which literally translates to sweets. Unbeknownst to many foodies and seasoned travelers, Mumbai's sugary delights will shock your senses with dense flavors and vibrant colors.
Typically, candies are reserved for offerings to Hindu gods as well as special treats for weddings and street festivals. If you're traveling to Mumbai for the first time, you can easily get a slab of candy at a specialty store - whether or not you're praising a deity or getting married.
Once you disembark from your India tour to Mumbai, keep your eyes open for shops like Dipankar Dukka, where, according to Lonely Planet, candy makers will dazzle you with rows of treats that are unlike any other in the world. Most of the sweets are made with milk and cream as the base, while each region puts its own flair on flavors by adding cashews, pistachio, cardamom, saffron or coconut to the mix.
You'll find rasmalai and rasgulla in West Bengal, which combine sweet and savory flavors like crumbled farmer's cheese and cardamom-spiced cream. Laddoo, on the other hand, is much more subtle than typical mithai and looks more like a dense square of baklava than a piece of candy.
If you're more of a chocoholic, you might want to try peda, which some consider India's take on fudge. Unlike the decadent and dense Western treat, peda is slightly baked but still boasts the same melt-in-your-mouth characteristics. Of course, never far from traditional tastes, peda usually boasts flavors of saffron, cardamom and almonds.
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